Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Page Count: 380
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
This is the second book I’ve ever read with a main character who is Indian (the first being Life of Pi – highly recommend that book, by the way). I love culturally diverse books and seeing it portrayed in mainstream YA is a feat Menon should be praised for.
Our main character Dimple is a very headstrong girl who doesn’t like the expectations her parents have set for her. They want her to marry an Indian boy of their choosing and pop out a few little ones, but she couldn’t care less about tradition and instead wants to go to college and become a coder.
“This is our life. We get to decide the rules. We get to say what goes and what stays, what matters and what doesn’t.”
I really loved Dimple’s character despite the controversy surrounding her and how she treated Rishi. This book is not problematic, you guys! Stop trying to trash this book because a POC character punched the guy in the side a few times and flung her coffee at him (in defense, he was being creepy).
Dimple is a female character who is a coder – something very rare in real life and in books. She has probably spent more time with guys than gals and that’s how guys treat one another. And not to mention she stopped when he asked and felt bad about it afterwards. I don’t want to rant on this but I just felt like I had to put that out there.
And everybody says this, but I’m going to join along and say it too. Rishi is the cutest cinnamon roll in the world. He loves his culture and accepts it unlike Dimple. He’s willing to give up what he loves to do most in order to make his parents happy. He treats Dimple with respect and doesn’t underestimate her abilities.
Dimple and Rishi’s relationship was slow-burning and I really liked that. They actually got to know each other and become friends before deciding they had feelings for one another. They care about each other in a way I wish more relationships in YA were portrayed.
I also really liked Rishi’s brother (and Menon is writing a book from his perspective!!) and how his relationship with Rishi changed from something rocky into something where they both understood what the other person wanted in life and what makes them happy.
There were a few minor things that I wasn’t a huge fan of, but that would mean spoiling you guys and this is a non-spoiler review, but let’s just say that I didn’t agree with everything Dimple did. That is the only reason I have to knock this down to 4.5 stars instead of five.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Overall, this was a really cute contemporary book about two Indian teenagers finding their way through the difficulties of love, accepting one’s culture, and discovering who they want to be.
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